50 Simple Activities You Can Do Tother With Your Dog
Hey! How is it going? Welcome to 9-to-5 Dog blog where we talk about creating, building and improving the lives of our dogs. Not just any dogs, but dogs that stay at home alone while we’re at work, in school or any other place where we can’t bring them along. We’re talking about things you can do in your spare time.
My name is Olga Zuberg, and this is the first week, launch week, here on the blog. I’m posting five mini-posts. This is post number 4. Wow. The blog actually launched late last night. And it’s just been a crazy day. I’ve spent as much of my free time as I have promoting it because the first week is very important. The more people join the discussion during the initial week, the more discussion we’ll have, the more people will share their wisdom, their challenges and their ideas and the more benefit you will get from…
Oh, my dog just ran under my desk and exploded with barking. Apparently, I scheduled the carpet cleaning service guys to come to my home to clean the carpets today! So I’m sitting in the closet and writing right now while my devastated dog is wondering why these people are turning our place upside down.
So, in the intro you saw a video (did you click on it?) of my dog watching a dog show performance at the dog school where I take her for training sometimes. If I had time to take her there more frequently, she could probably do it. But right now, if I took her down there, she would probably fail because she’s not used to the audience. But I take her to agility classes sometimes, and she loves it.
I’m going to try to include a lot of clips from my experience, my friend’s and my family’s as we go on this journey. I have one coming out soon. I’ve promised that I would make this blog transparent, that I would share the experience, my research and all that. So I just want to talk about what happened so far with the blog and me.
So let me just pull out the blog stats. We have 40 people subscribed for the blog so far. That’s in three days! Great job, guys! There are 4 shares on the website. Here is the message from Natalie: “Great idea! Looking forward to your book”. Thanks a lot! My favorite so far is probably from Len “I love the picture on the front page. I am here for more pictures of pugs!”. Thanks! I'm really grateful for this because it helped with the launch day. So the stats again: 671 views. Great!
So tell me if you can identify with this: I’m a dog person. I always had dogs in my house, even as a child. I don’t see myself without a dog. Dogs are part of my life. I’ve written a few books. I’ve trained dogs; I have canine fitness coach certification. And I think for us as dog owners, we often have this bad feeling when we leave our dogs at home for the whole day. And, to be honest, nobody is happy. We’re unhappy. Our dogs are unhappy.
When I was writing the first three blog posts, that’s how I felt. I thought that it’s not right to leave them home. And if you’re like me, you often seek comfort from your spouse or your partner. Here’s a glimpse into conversations I had at my home. (Don’t worry, I got permission to post it on my blog.)
“So, honestly, what is your opinion on that?”
“I think it’s great. It totally makes sense to me.”
“Because some people think it’s unfair to own a dog if you have to work full-time. But you think...”
“Well, I think some dogs would be glad to snooze at home the whole day rather than stay at a dog shelter.”
So this is where the opinions are right now with my family. I don’t know if you can identify with that, but there’s definitely some concern about our dogs there. Is this any good? What is the dog going to do? Is this the right thing to do? All those questions that I think we all ask.
My current dog is very lucky in a way. When I got her, I was working from home a lot. So she hadn’t experienced the boredom and emptiness over long periods. She has some experience of being alone, but not so much. I will be working in the office more in the coming month, and I will document my experience on this blog.
Time to get into this week’s topic. I will answer some questions that you asked me through the form on the website and on Facebook. And the first question was about how much time I spend with my dog. I’ve been posting some pictures on the Facebook page of my dog, and people were saying “Hey, how much time do you actually spend with your dog? Where do you find time?”
Those are both good questions. There are surely a few different ways to do this. I believe that the best approach is to incorporate your dog into your life as much as possible. So, instead of taking my dog for a walk, I go out, and she tags along. Now, you may know that dogs aren’t allowed in many places. But there are quite a lot of places where you can bring your dog. You need to do your research.
Here are some good places to start:
• DogFriendly.com. Great listings of dog-friendly places in the U.S. and worldwide that include hotels, attractions such as tours, stores and historical sites, campgrounds, parks and off-leash parks, beaches, patio dining, skiing and more.
• BringFido.com. Lists the most popular destinations worldwide, or in your own neck of the woods, to stay, play and eat with your dog.
• Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA PetBook. Lists over 20,000 pet-friendly places including hotels, B&Bs, vacation rentals, attractions, outdoor restaurants, shopping centers, beaches and off-leash parks in all of the United States and Canada. Also included are airline options, public transportation systems, ferries, emergency vets and National Park pet information.
• Phileas Dogg’s Guide to Dog-Friendly Holidays in Britain. An amusing and informative guide to the best dog-friendly days out, beaches, hotels, pubs, campsites, cottages and holidays.
Feeling intimidated by the sheer volume? Don’t be.
Here’s a list of 50 simple activities I share with my dog.
1. Sunbathing on the beach (Provide a shady area.)
2. Listen to bird songs in the bird sanctuary nearby
3. Take a nap in a tent on our camping trips
4. Swim in a lake
5. Have a picnic in the park
6. Watch the campfire on our camping trips
7. Do yoga (Look for indoor as well as outdoor yoga groups that allow dogs)
8. Meditate in a park with a local group
9. Fly a kite
10. Go to a zoo to see wild animals
11. Read a book at the local coffee shop
12. Paint nature
13. Visit friends and family
14. Listen to an audiobook while walking on the beach
15. Visit dog friends
16. Walk around town on daily business (Most of the businesses that are not food-related are glad to welcome a well-mannered dog. Just ask!)
17. Write an article (Look for dog-friendly patios, libraries and coffee shops)
18. Visit local greenhouses to enjoy flowers and plants
19. Go for a meal at a dog-friendly restaurant
20. Go for a run
21. Go for a bike ride
22. Go to see an art exhibition
23. Explore a new place in the area
24. Visit a park or conservation area for a hike
25. Attend dog-friendly outdoor events and festivals
26. Listen to an outdoor concert
27. Go snowshoeing
28. Go canoeing
29. Enjoy stand-up paddle boarding together
30. Visit a local flea market
31. Watch a baseball game in the park
32. Play Frisbee with friends
33. Go rollerblading
34. Go tobogganing
35. Join a dog-friendly running event or race
36. Walk a few miles with a local power-walking group
37. Watch an outdoor movie screening
38. Take a stroll along the beach
39. Attend a parade in downtown
40. Practice outdoor photography skills
41. Ice skate on a frozen lake (Train your dog to stay away from your skates.)
42. See an outdoor dance performance
43. Set out on a weekend trip adventure
44. Holiday travel
45. Go cross-country skiing (skijoring)
46. Bring dogs to work
47. Visit a dog park
48. Watch a sunrise
49. Go for a boat trip
50. Visit a pet show or dog exhibition
A good way to enrich your dog’s world is to bring him along as much as possible. If you haven’t taken your dog on your daily runs, please consider it. Think how isolated he is from the real world. Also, if you do get out with your dog, don’t leave your dog unattended.
Let’s just review what we’ve covered so far. We’ve talked about doing what our dogs enjoy more often. We’ve talked about having fun on short walks. We’ve talked about toys and gear for home alone dogs. And in this post we covered 50 activities to share with your dog and generally allowing your dog to experience your world.
Now it’s time for you to plan something and get out there. My dog is comfortable with all kinds of situations and all kinds of animals and people. When we started, there were some difficulties with public transportation, loud noises and children. You may experience something similar, and that’s OK. You need to practice. As you get better, you can eventually be more adventurous and improvise more. It could also be easier if you had another person to help you.
That’s all I have for today. I would love it if you got out with your dog. I would love it if you let us know how it went by spending 30 seconds to send a message on Facebook or the website. I want to thank you for reviewing 9-to-5 Dog. Please leave a review if you haven’t done so already.
A little follow-up: the carpets are clean and damp now. And we are going for a long walk to let it dry a little. My dog got to play some fetch with one of the cleaners as they were leaving. She knows how to take care of guests.